Muskmelon - delicious

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Muskmelon - Some garden plants can beat the heat of summer
Diana Balazs The Arizona Republic May. 27, 2006 12:00 AM
If your spring garden of pretty blooms has shriveled from the heat, take heart.There are plants that will flower during the summer. You also can take steps to nurse your more heat-sensitive plants along until the cool of fall.The first step is to increase your watering. The trick is to water more deeply and less frequently. Try watering twice a week and see how your plants respond. Plants in containers, particularly clay or terra cotta, may need to be watered more frequently.
Water in the cool of the morning. Evening watering can encourage the growth of fungal diseases. Do not water during the heat of the day. Water will evaporate and your plants' leaves could become sunburned.If you can, provide shade from the hot afternoon sun for your more heat-sensitive plants. Avoid planting near hot west walls.Stop fertilizing your plants, particularly roses. The goal is to encourage plants to become partly dormant rather than to promote growth during this stressful time. Begin fertilizing in October when temperatures drop.Do apply at least 2 inches of mulch or compost to the base of your plants. That layer of protective organic material not only cools the soil, but reduces the rate of water evaporation.If you like color in your yard during the summer, bougainvillea and vinca are two sun worshipers.Bougainvillea is a colorful shrub that thrives in the heat, even against west walls, and blooms best when deprived of water.Vinca is a popular flowering plant for containers and borders that comes in a variety of colors. It is also known as periwinkle. It does need regular watering, but will grow in full sun.Here are some more plants that won't take a summer vacation:Globe mallow, gomphrena, lantana, lisianthus, oleander, portulaca, salvia, sunflower, Texas sage and yellow bells.
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No longer qualified to carry a tire iron

Sunday, June 4, 2006
By Tom Martin Copley News Service

It’s official.
I’m soft. I’ve become the guy who doesn’t change his own flat tires. I’ve grown from a kid who could work a bumper jack on an incline to a guy who now calls for help.
And that’s what I did a couple of weeks ago, when I found myself stranded on Interstate 55 outside of Lincoln, Ill. I was driving along in my 12-year-old purple pickup truck, listening to the Cardinals play the Nationals and thinking about getting home.
And then my left rear tire blew out. It was the moment I had been dreading for at least four years, which is when I had my last flat-tire fiasco.
That was also on an interstate highway, I-80 (kinda busy), and was my first tire-changing meltdown. With semitrailers whizzing past, I got my truck jacked up. My biggest fear was getting the air-wrench-tightened lug nuts off, which I finally did by using the entire weight of my body on the four-way tire iron.
But my defeat came when I tried to remove the wheel from the hub. It wouldn’t budge. I tried prying and banging. After nearly two hours of this, the sun went down.
No cell phone
With knuckles bloodied and ego bruised, I hitched a ride for help. My wife had insisted I carry along the cell phone. I waved it off. About the time I hooked up with the tow-truck driver, my “don’t-need-the-cell-phone” arrogance had landed in a different time zone and I pondered my plight. I’d been unable to do one of those basic guy things. Changing a tire is a staple in the guy handbook. Heck, as a driver’s ed teacher, my dad made high-school girls change tires, so they wouldn’t be helpless if they had a flat.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve never been an under-the-hood guy, but I’d always been able to change a tire. Oh, it got a little more difficult for me when they stopped using the bumper jacks and went to those little jacks you have to twist to raise. I’m never really sure where they go, and I won’t read the manual. In fact, I changed a couple of tires by twisting the jack with the tire iron before realizing the jack handle was carefully hidden beneath the hood.
Back on I-80, my spirits buoyed a little, when the tow-truck guy explained to me that the aluminum wheels, like the ones on my truck, often become fused to the hub and are difficult to get off. He used a 6-foot iron pry bar to break the union between the wheel and my truck.
Stuck on the shoulder
From that moment I knew I’d need either help or to carry a really big tool to change the next flat.
And I would have carried a big tool, too, if someone had found one and put it in my truck. But no one did, and I found myself on the shoulder of I-55 late on a Thursday afternoon.
This time I had a cell phone. My first call was to my wife. I needed her to release my guilt and let me call for help. She did. A guy with a button-up, blue shirt with “Dave” above the pocket arrived 20 minutes later and had the tire changed in less than 10 minutes. Instead of a big pry bar, he used a hammer with a head the size of a muskmelon to remove the wheel.
I was back on the road quickly, my knuckles intact and my good clothes unsoiled.
But I lost something in the exchange besides the 35 bucks I paid Dave. Even with a really big tool, I don’t think I could turn back now.